Friday, September 29, 2006

Too busy to post!

And to tell the truth, to tired as well. I just can't hang anymore! A big night out takes two days to recover.

Too many of these:


Which leads to none of these:



Have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Traveling man!

Is a happy man. On the road again. Partly for business, partly for peace of mind. Heading down to the not so fragrant harbor to do some serious thinking about life and its current direction. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for, someday yoou may surely get it.

After that on my way back east for business and maybe some decent mexican food.

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Saw a great quote in a recent time magazine. Who would you rather be stranded with on a desert island: Ann Coulter or Katherine Harris? I agree with Al Franken's answer, Katherine Harris because there is more meat on the bone. ( and elsewhere.......)



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Speaking of meat on the bone, I have been watching the commentary on the leak of sections of the National Intelligence estimate. On the one hand there is the obvious violation of law, by someone in the service of the goverment-for it could only have come from somone with clearance and access to the document-and the potential damage that it does by revealing sources and methods of gathering intellingence. On the other hand it is heartening to know that our Intelligence agencies are actually returning to the idea of providing clear headed analysis and thought, instead of simply packaging the ideas that they have been told to. To me, its a vindication of sorts. I published a post a few months back about the revolt of the professionals, which quoted the disgust of seaseoned intelligence professionals at having their work so callously disregarded by the current cabal that resides on the E-ring. I see this report as simply another signpost of that trend. It also proves to me what I have felt for a long time. Terrorism can mutate and mestatize creating more bad cells than what you started with.

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Man, I love the beer machine here in the lounge! It pours a perfect beer every time! I'll be back in minute...............

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Finally I think you should go over and check out the fine words of Hemlock........on that curse of the Western World, Krispy Kreme! That and coffee would make a fine breakfast. Have to check it out!

Ja ne!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Double standards...........

Is it just me, or are you just as confused over the flap about Bill Clinton losing his temper with a Fox news reporter?

See when Bill loses his temper-which is reputed to be quite easy-he is judged as having "lost it", "overstepped his bounds", and "guilty of an ego trip".

However when Bush does it, which seems to be anytime any reporter from any network has the termerity to ask how getting shot at in an Arab hell hole, full of religious nutjobs arguing about the successor to the prophet who died 1300 years ago, somehow contributes to the American security in the world and he gets every bit as feisty; its considered strong, powerful leadership.

Lets face it. People either love or hate Clinton. If you hate him, then you feel that he lost it. Could he have done more to stop OBL? Hell yes, even he admits that. However, I applaud him for sticking it to a Fox news reporter, who decided a long time ago to go to the dark side, simply because Rupert Murdoch pays a few more bucks.

If you like him, well you will be like some in the Democratic party who see this as a rallying cry. My problem with that line of thinking is: "A rally cry behind whom? With the exception of James Webb, the Democrats have no one of stature to rally behind." Hillary? - give me a break. Nancy Pelosi? Not a chance. Ted Kennedy? -Now I need a drink!

I always felt Clinton could never make up his mind which type of Democrat he wanted to be- Scoop Jackson or Bella Abzug. If he tried to be like the former, he would have had to renounce the two "f's"-Fags and Feminism. If he gave in to trying to be like the latter, well that did not quite fit in with "retaking the center".

Which brings me to one key observation one should bear in mind, no matter which party you belong to. As I said to the Phibian the other day:

There is an issue of context. People are looking at what Clinton did in a pre 9-11 world through the lens of a post 9-11 world. Should he have firebombed Aden killing as many Yemenis as possible after the Cole? Yea he should have. But with the election 2 weeks away and no clear proof of who did it? Bush was able to invade Iraq because of 9-11. If that event had never happened, there would have been no way Bush could have invaded, no matter how much he wanted to. I remain convinced that was one reason Bush chose to go (into Iraq) as early as he did, because he felt the stars would not be aligned properly the longer he waited. Short strikes on selected targets? Reagan and GHWB did the same thing. It was the accepted paradigm. Putting troops on the ground after Somalia was just not in the public vocabulary.

So many of these back seat drivers forget that, but for 9-11, much of what we are doing would be unacceptable in the world of 9-10. That does not mean there were a lot of things that to like about Clinton, but in this area, would Bob Dole have done anything differently? Or GWB's Dad? No. We just were not ready for anything different. And at that, what has GWB's really aggressive tactics bought us? 2600+ Americans dead in Iraq, the place still a mess and Bin Laden dying in his sleep. Afghanistan still in tatters, and the world just as unsafe and paranoid as before.

I'm no Clinton fan. But we need to remember the environment he worked in.



Now lay into me! But remember, I watch real news-NHK...............

New day, new Prime Minister........

It was all Abe all the time at our place last night. NHK had a special news broadcast to celebrate the election of Shinzo Abe ( pronounced AH be, not Abe). The 52-year-old president of the ruling LDP is the youngest postwar prime minister and the first to be born after World War II.

He has already named his cabinent. What is left to be discovered are such weighty questions as these:

1) Since Koizumi was "Bush's poodle", what canine moniker will the new Prime Minster pick up?

2) Does the new PM like Elvis?

3) When will be the best day to piss off both the Chinese and Koreans by taking a jaunt through Yasukuni?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Reruns...........

For those of you paying attention to this blog lately, and to borrow a phrase from Bob Uecher, "And judging by the attendance figures, a lot of you haven't!", I thought I would point out that not everything here is sheer drivel.

Sometimes, rarely I will admit, I actually write something useful.

So. From time to time, I plan to give you some links to the posts I am particularly proud of. Hopefully, like wine, you will enjoy them with age. If not, there's always here to go to.

So here we go. Enjoy:

A new meme!

The 10 stages of drunkeness!

The maid's day off.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Be afraid, be very afraid...............

If you are Gloria Macdangalang Arroyo that is. On the outside she exhibits confidence, but you know she has to be watching the US response to the coup in Thailand very carefully. Now mind you it has nothing to do with the fact that Thaksin may have deserved it, being both a crook and a buffoon. ( Maybe now the bars can stay open later!).

Its no secret that there are factions of the Philippine Army that are just chomping at the bit to make GMA go away. After all as I pointed out several months ago, surely you don't expect her to actually do something about the sorry state the Philippines is in. No, not her. She would rather find ways to make sure Filipina maids be better trained before they go overseas to get raped work for peanuts.

Then again, old GMA may have learned a thing or two from Philippine history, or from the man she supposedly despises:



In fact, Ms Arroyo's situation seems worse. Her administration faces a string of complaints lodged with the United Nations, replete with accusations of human rights violations including political killings.Crusading journalists exposing government graft end up jailed or killed.Her aides say her temper has become unpredictable - she abhors dissent, engaging in a 'word war' with senators over her alleged illegal use of public funds. Also, the US-educated Ms Arroyo seems to have no qualms in ordering the police to brutally disperse protesters. Leftists derisively call her a 'fascist'. Indeed, both Dr Thaksin and Ms Arroyo have an arrogant, abrasive and confrontational style ofleadership.One noticeable difference, however, is that Dr Thaksin was not in firm control of his army generals. He may have been lulled into complacency that a coup, which last occurred 15 years ago, was a thing of the past.

Ms Arroyo, often compared by critics to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, does not take chances. Like Mr Marcos' actions to perpetuate himself in power, she handpicks army generals whose loyalty to her is beyond question. So although there were coup attempts against her, Ms Arroyo survived because the generals in key positions rallied behind her. Coup plotters were detained.


Kind of reminds me of Donald Rumsfeld..........................

Spike kind of summed up the options last year when he ghost wrote three versions of her State of the Nation speech last year. Seems like it still applies now:

1 - I'm really a good president. I'm sorry about the last election thing but I did nothing wrong. You elected me fairly and I am going to serve out the entire term. Sorry if I have no ideas about how to mend the fucked economy or deal with the terrorists in the South. Bite me. Thanks.

2 - I'm declaring martial law and becoming a tyrant to end all this silly impeachment talk. Bite me. Thanks.

3 - I've thought it over and realize the country is in a terrible crisis. Our economy continues to stand still, our problems are no nearer to being solved, and nothing can move forward at all while the entire debate is centered on my honesty and ability to lead the country. So for the good of all, I resign my post as President and hand the reigns over to soft-core porn star Patricia Javier, who at least will look hot when she gives her speeches. See if you're not begging to have me reinstated inside of three months. Bite me. Thanks.

That was written a year ago- has anything changed?

Kind of says it all, doesn't it?

The Navy launched its Littoral Combat Ship this weekend..
Love them or hate them, they are expensive. This poster kind of captures the feeling:



For you Navy folks just take out the words B-52, and substitute LCS for F-22 and the meaning remains the same.

Nuff said on that!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Links updated!

I finally got off my ass and reorganized and updated the links. Hopefully I got everyone and they are correct. If you know someone I missed, who should be a part of the "Fair haired fraternity of expat ragers against the Man!" let me know.

E @ L 's caveat applies however:

"I no longer seeks permission to link other blogs here, nor expects notification of linkages in return. That is the most stupidest "netiquette" crap ever.
You are on-line? You are fair game for being linked to, deal with it."

Karl Rove's new best friend..........

I'll bet the Democrats are wishing they could "waterboard" Kofi Annan about now. Because this year's General Assembly session is a die hard Republican's wet dream. And all it cost Karl Rove is a couple of Noam Chomsky books..............

If he could get Hugo and Mahmoud Whasshisname to come along on a tour of the South and Midwest, the President could probably get back above a 50% approval rating.

As was pointed out in another blog, "President Bush can talk about his national security plan and foreign policy all day long..........but no one makes a more compelling case than the duo of Mahmooud and Hugo."

The comment was meant in jest, but in truth, their coming here and giving their speech was a Godsend for Bush and the Republican party. Does anyone remember what the President of the United States said? No. And there has been precious little coverage of him saying it. However watching Hugo Chavez play the role of latino buffoon crossing himself and calling Bush the devil, that's priceless. Both of them make the perfect set up figures, to arouse the jingoistic impulses in all of us. To steal a line from Animal House, "Hey! They can't do that to our politicians pledges! Only we can do that to our pledges."

Hugo needs to go back to public affairs school. Cheap theatrics only backfire. " Oh no, don't shoot him. You'll just make him mad...!" Both these guys need to talk with Musharev, who picks Bush's pocket while playing the slick "friend of the war on terror". All the while dropping indiscrete hints that he was bullied into it, and he really does not know what all those Taliban are doing walking around free and clear in his country. And did anyone but me notice how really empty the assembly was when they were speaking? A far cry from the packed house when Kruschev was banging his shoe. The applause only seemed loud, in reality it was no applause at all.

Talk about the issues? No need to as long as Hugo is around. He makes the perfect punching bag. Mahmooud Whassisname, hell he looks scary. Imagining him with nukes makes one break out into a cold sweat..........

Wonder how many books Karl would have to buy to get these guys to campaign till November. The Democrats should lead the drive to get these guys back on the plane immediately....with a gag in each mouth. Because every time they open it, its a 5 point drop for the Democrats. Namely because they have no one who can make a better case.

And it probably has not hurt Chomsky's book sales either.............

Friday, September 22, 2006

TGIF!

And you know what that means.............

Time for one of these:



And then go look at the top ten list of these:



Have a great weekend!

Grade inflation

Every service has problems with evaluations. The folks at Chairforce.com have put a new meaning in the term truth in reporting (Click on the picture to make it readable):



Another RIO gets screwed out of flight time..............

From Wonkette. Wonder if she was the last person to throw up in the back of an F-14?



Bathroom gossip and war pornographer Kyra Phillips was reportedly the last journalist (or TV announcer, whatever) to be flown around in an F-14 so that she’d do a fluff feature on how great it is to do a fluff feature on the military. Some Kyra highlights from the transcript:

-->“Maybe because I’m addicted to it, and I just can’t get enough of it. I feel like this is my life in another lifetime, Carol.”
--->“But it’s been — I tell you what, it’s a piece of history, happening right here before our eyes. I mean, naval aviation goes back decades. It’s participated in all the major wars.”
--->“I can see you guys coming in now. Why don’t you give our viewers a taste of what we’re going to do once we’re airborne?”


Hardly what I call insightful reporting. But she gets to fly in the Tomcat and I don't. What's up with that?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Its the economy stupid!

Have been watching all the coverage of Hugo Chavez and Iranian President Nameicannotpronounce about their speeches in the UN. Its simply amazing for a whole host of reasons. Mainly because both leaders are living examples of what is wrong with the world economy today and why we cannot make more progress in advance United States interests than we do.

Lets look at Chavez. This man's country gets 10 Million US dollars a day in petro dollars. The United States forks it over to feed its oil habit. Same principal exists in the Middle East. Yet in Venezuela at least there are still way too many people living below the poverty line. In the Arab countries, they treat their citizens with contempt because they can afford to pay others to do all the hard work for them. Countries like the PI, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh feed this economic imbalance, ergo they make no progress in their own societies because they don't have to. It becomes a self defeating cycle that continues on and on -fed by oil money-up and till their is some event that shakes up the status quo.

Consider some other examples. In Iraq, if the US had been able to deliver on the services the Iraqi's expected from the start, it would have probably done a lot to short circuit the insurgency. Because of the security situation being as tenuous as it is, Iraq makes no economic progress. It needs a stable infrastructure more than it needs democracy. Unfortunately its democratically elected government seems unable to deliver it.

The rich may be getting richer due to globalization, but for the rest of us: the people who do the working, the sweating, the living and the dying median income is actually going down. That gap is not poised to narrow anytime soon. And worse, the rich who hold the money are doing nothing to close the gap. If anything the seeds are being sewn for a massive breakdown. America's addiction to allowing others to hold its debt, particularly its main enemy China, is very troubling. Righting this situation will be tricky, and having a President who is committed to increasing those imbalances through wartime and other deficit spending does not help the process.

Iran, for all its bluster is an structurally imbalanced country. It makes huge revenues from oil that are being misspent. Thus Iran has some serious social and other problems it turns a blind eye to, or hides under a Muslim veil. It cannot do so forever.

That is what is really sad. No one, anywhere, is making an effort to address this imbalance. The war on terror is fixing a symptom of economic distress, without curing the main cause of the disease: frustration that makes people susceptible to the mouthings of Muslim wakcos.

In the old days, we had European empires to keep this in check and at the least, keep the money in the hands of the West. Now it seems we have to be resigned to seeing the West vicimized while the parts of the east rise-others do not.

So in the end, I'm stating the obvious. Want to fix the rights of women and others in outside countries? Wean them off the spending for conflict and provide some balance in their workforce. "Business as usual" simply feeds the causes of discontent. That's what folks were trying to say at the UN. Provide some equity in the global market place and you will go a long way to reducing the root cause of the current violence in the world.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Carnival of Buffoonery..............

The S.O. is out tonight. Rather than take advantage of it to skate out to one of my favorite bars, I decided to stay in and watch real TV for a change, (NO NHK!!!!!!!! The most mind numbingly boring channel on the face of the planet. Give me T&A on TV Tokyo any day of the week.) I'm also listening to all the CD's I bought today. I've got the curtains pulled, I'm playing Air Guitar and listening to:

Kansas- On the other side.

Neil Young's Greatest hits.

Blues Traveler-Four

Plenty of air guitar material there. Sorry folks, no U-tube video to show. Go see my friends in the Sun Kings if you want to see white guys dance around like dorks!

Keep on rockin' in the Free World..................................


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Bubblehead noticed the ultimate in a make work executive appointment. While he pokes fun at Mark Fox -the guy who shot down a Mig over Iraq in Round 1 and gave the Hornet mafia their ultimate propoganda piece: "See, we can shoot down Migs on the way to AND from the target. Bombs and Fox-1's!"-who has been appointed to , wait for it, the following: "Rear Adm. (lower half) Mark I. Fox is being assigned as deputy to the deputy chief of staff for political, military and economic business, Multi-National Forces Iraq. Fox is currently serving as deputy assistant to the president and director, White House Military Office, Washington, D.C."

Bubblehead sums it up quite nicely:
Deputy to the Deputy"? As an Flag Officer? I'm sure RADM Fox is a fine officer, but c'mon... this should serve as a wake-up call to everyone who sees it that the Navy just has too many Admirals. Maybe NAVPERS can come up with a "Drawdown Game" for Flags -- but of course they won't. One of the most jealously-guarded items within each service, and for each community within the services, is the number of General and Flag Officer billets they get -- no one wants to give up a slot, because that would mean they'd be perceived as becoming less important. The Navy has well over 200 Flag Officers for a force of 282 deployable battle force ships -- most of which are commanded by O-5s. The Army has 25 General Officers for each division -- or about 1 per battalion/regiment, which are also commanded by O-5s. At least the Air Force is looking at cutting their numbers of Generals -- although I doubt it will actually happen, for the aforementioned reason.

And don't even get me started on the number of O-6s with no apparent function other than to keep people below them in the chain of command from working efficiently...


Its 279 Flags to be precise. The same number we had in 1991...................

One side note. What has always amazed me is that in Japan, the submarine and P-3 flags split their duties between 7th and 5th fleets. Why? Why not have an O-6 for each fleet? Have an O-6 command the Task Force in Fifth fleet and an O-6 run the one in 7th fleet. After all in the case of the P-3 guy, he is commanding 1/3 as many aircraft as a TACAIR O-6 commands. Go see above for why not.

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Under the category of "While you were out........." , the military in Thailand staged a good old fashioned Coup de Etat. People are "shocked!, Shocked" that this happened. I don't understand why. Thaksin has been asking for this for about 6 months now. Thaksin was supposed to have stepped down in April. He did not, however. In Thailand, as in Turkey, the military always holds the trump card. Its the fourth coup in 60 years that I can think of.

What does amaze me is that people are asking the question about,"what does this do for the US -Thai relationship?" Nothing. The US would be stupid to make something of this. So long as the bars in Pattaya stay open and we can use Utapao AB, it is really none of our business. That is what worries me. People will try to make more out of this than it really is..............

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If really needed one of these, why would you GIVE IT BACK?


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Finally, here is what George W. wishes he could do to critics of his GTMO plan. Courtesy of Hemlock:

The new-look, Foreign Affairs wannabe Far Eastern Economic Review can finally look its critics in the face. Like any publication of integrity, it is being sued by the drooling geriatric despot Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s de facto President for Life. When I read the magazine’s interview with opposition politician Chee Soon Juan a few months ago, it crossed my mind that this might happen. Chee mentioned the National Kidney Foundation scandal, in which the leadership of an institution supposedly founded for the public good massively overpaid themselves, lived in luxury and issued defamation suits against nosy outsiders – in other words, acted just like the Lion City’s government. And he gave his opinion, as he has before, about the country whose ruling family have sued him, had him declared bankrupt, and had him jailed.


Meanwhile, the World Bank and IMF accuse the Singapore authorities of reneging on an agreement to allow members of non-governmental organizations access to their Annual Meeting being held in the city state. A few months back in a Canadian court, a defendant in a commercial case argued against local enforcement of a Singapore court decision on the grounds that the Lion City’s judiciary is rotten, allowing itself to be used to persecute government opponents like Chee. It would be interesting if, for a change, a media company faced with the wrath of the senile, nepotistic bully who passes himself off as visionary elder statesman and Minister Mentor stood its ground and told the old goat to take a hike. Then the FEER could actually look down on a few people.

That will never happen by the way. If only GW knew he could be a "Minister Mentor".
Then we would never leave Iraq. And the New York Times would be just like the Straits Times...."All the adds that we can fit". Problem is that job is currently held by Clinton, who has yet to realize he's not the President anymore................................

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Rock on baby!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

On the rebound

For a guy who had 3 times the legal limit at the Naval Academy, I felt pretty good when I got up to go to work this morning. So there, Helen Dunn, one can drink and still make it to work on time. ( In case you have not figured it out, I've picked the good CAPT to be my whipping girl for at least the next few days. Enjoy it! Its a privilege few get to share....).

I went and had some beers with the Yankee Sailor tonight. He's a good guy. Doing a hard job that is made harder by the mis-management of his superiors. His TIMBWA ( Time at Home in Bed With Mama) is going to suck for the next few months. So without a doubt he is working harder than me. He's a shoe too, so he deserves extra sympathy. They do eat their young. Send him some greetings!

One final point before I close. Can someone explain to me why the Pope has to apologize to a bunch of worthless Muslims? Should it not be the other way around? Perhaps he should remind them, that Ishmael came from the "black sheep" side of the family, not Isaac. Accordingly you should just go suck ( Halal) eggs! Muslims have to be the most easily offended people on earth! I'll tell you what offends me. Americans getting blown up by useless Arabs. Any time you worthless Islamic f**ks want to answer for that, I'm all ears. And please don't blame it on that useless piece of excrement, Mohammed. History, proves that quite wrong, if you worthless as*h**les had bothered to study it.


That felt good! So too did realizing that I cannot change the eventual outcome, but I can go kicking and screaming to the destination! He's back! And just as ornery as ever...................

Because E @ L told me so................

Monday, September 18, 2006

I had a bad day...............

That's the understatement of the year.

I was going to post something to explain my rather intense rant about the first Muslim woman space tourist and why, in the long run, it would be economics not kinetics that make the Arab world change its attitudes about women and society. However after the day I had today, that kind of stuff can wait. Its not like the Arabs are listening to me, or anyone else anyway.

Because I got some really s***ty news today. News that shows me again just how brutally unfair the world is. How good people get screwed over while s**theads get away with anything they want.

Oh, and for the benefit of Helen Dunn and the other morons at the US Naval Academy, I'm planning on my BAC topping out somewhere in the neighborhood of risky alcohol consumption and unacceptable use. Boo f**king hoo! Excuse me while I go to the fridge for another beer!

A former boss of mine and a man I count as a friend lost his wife to cancer yesterday. I count this man as a friend and a good guy. Both he and his wife were. They were good to me at a time in my life when I needed it. We did not see eye to eye on many things, particularly the Navy's ever increasing trend to play big brother, but he never let professional crap get in the way of personal friendship.

Now, he gets to have raise 3 boys on his own. Someone please explain to me how this somehow makes sense. Because for the life of me I don't see how. Of course this drama gets played out daily, every time a CACO team comes to deliver the news of yet another American killed in Iraq. A mother who dies at 44 of breast cancer. A person awaiting an organ transplant who dies before matching tissue can be obtained.

Regarding the last item. In my beer befuddled state, it seems quite logical that we should start dropping GTMO prisoners through trap doors and harvesting their organs for those who deserve them more. Certainly these Muslim scum are not putting them to any good use. Maybe we can recycle them. The people waiting for organ transplants might think that was a good idea. That's' about the only good I can think can come from GTMO...........

Shocked , you say? Yea, I know it violates about 100 treaties and laws, but its what China does every day. And we try to build a "cooperative relationship with them". Its crap and I know it. However its just another example to me of how unfair this little world is.

Please don't tell me its God's will either. It may be, but all that makes me want to do is argue with God. Its the old dilemma of Job, namely why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? According to the Talmud though, Job never really existed. He was a parable to those of us, to teach us all how to perservere. That of course enrages zealots of several faiths. The Bible and the Koran are God's literal words, they say. I don't accept that. I believe in God as sure as I believe the sun will come up tomorrow, but he has his own ways to teach us what he wanted us to know. And those lessons are not as literal as some would have us believe. God must surely be like my father in his forbearance, than the thundering tyrant that some would have us believe.

Wow! I must be drinking to get off on a rant about GTMO and God. Lets start this one again shall we?

Before I had come into work today and made the mistake of answering the phone, I slid on over to E @ L and read his thoughts on life today. He does not know it, but what he wrote really spoke to me today. Because his frustration exactly echoes my own:

At a certain point in your life, one day just like any other, you might be stirring a coffee, breaking off a piece of cookie, watching people walking past along Orchard Rd...

You realize you no long think about what you are going to do with the rest of your life.

You are thinking about what you haven't done with the life you've already led. Your life is no longer a tight ball of potential energy, no longer that fireball burst of kinetic brilliance amazing everyone, it is entropic - the dissipating energy of something falling apart. You know this because when family and old friends talk about you behind your back, they use that word: "dissipation."

The spoon stands still in your cup. But it shakes slightly in your aged hand.

You are old. It has crept upon you. You are well past half-way. Past your peak - and gathering speed towards an ending you can foresee all too clearly, coming all too soon.

You are no longer anticipating building your life into something amazing, special, something to be proud of. You are trying rather to fill in the gaps of an incomplete and haphazard existence. To patch the cracks, make it look a coherent whole. You are thinking about what you didn't do when you had the chance and you realize the opportunities to redress are fading.

You don't have a future, you have regrets.

You don't have ambition, you have have a collection of fading laurels, heavily squashed.

It is the weekend. You don't know what to do, you don't know what you WANT to do. You don't even care WHY you'd want to anything anyway.

One morning recently you saw a sunrise. The number of sunrises you will watch in the rest of your life now seems finite, limited. A handful at most, unless you decide to become a bird watcher or something requiring an early rise. Unlikely. The only sunrise possible for you is when you take your hooker out to her taxi after a mildly embarrassing short-time and she wants to leave at 6am. Your snoring was keeping her awake. Your chance of redressing your drunken inadequacies with a wake-up piss hard-on has faded, of getting your money's worth.

You don't make plans for new projects, you are too frantic looking for excuses for what went wrong in those enterprises you abandoned incomplete.

The game has played out.

That gorgeous girl, the one you fancied, everyone fancied, once you might done something about that fancy, might once might have made an effort to woo and maybe won, but no, not now; she thinks of you as "avuncular" and presumably asexual. Now you merely lech, go home to masturbate morosely.

Futility.

Now that is writing I can relate to! Smug self assured types will simply laugh and say, "well, its all your own fault!"

To which I respond: "Maybe. However the financial straightjacket you and your moralist lawyer friends put me in does not help one bit. Why don't you just , to borrow a British phrase, SOD OFF! You are providing no help here.-YOU DICK!"

Becasue its my party and I'll cry if I want to.

And it still does not solve the root cause of my distess, someone is not in the world who should be. And the world does not care. The world will go on and soon the memory will be hard to retain. A stone somewhere will have a name. And that will be it. No glory, no great fame, just a family's and friend's rememberance that will grow colder with time.

" Nobody ever said life was going to be fair. At least no one ever said it to me."

Yea well it should be. But its not.

I had hope to interject some humor here. However to tell the truth, I don;t feel like it. I do feel like drinking some more though. Thinking all the while. And leaving you with a quote from Albert Camus, one of my favorite authors:

There is but one freedom, to put oneself right with death. After that everything is possible. I cannot force you to believe in God. Believing in God amounts to coming to terms with death. When you have accepted death, the problem of God will be solved--and not the reverse.



Now to let the whiskey spin me on down to oblivion...........A rambling post to be sure. However its the news and its what's on my mind. Hopefully it says something in its meandering.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Mike finds another one!

Mike has found another Sun King video.........

Bad Bob and others will especially appreciate the mighty War Hummer leading the Air Wing flyby!

This is what happens when you steam in circles for 5 months waiting for the Photo-op!

Everything I needed to know about life I learned from Star Trek.

This post is dedicated to the management professionals at the US Naval Academy. It seems that they left a few important details out of your curriculum. As a public service I thought I would pass a few of these life lessons.

We get high on life!


For the Commandant of Midshipmen:




For all you guys leaving the Navy in later years to work for the Fortune 500:


Finally for those of you who will end up working in DOD policy shops:




Live long and Prosper!

Tagged!

Madame Chiang tagged me with a meme:

Seven Songs

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your LiveJournal/blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

This meme has me somewhat at a disadvantage because I don't listen to music all that much, except when I am out in a bar or four in Tokyo, Hong Kong, or Singapore, and truth be told I don' get out here as much as I would like to. Plus in Hong Kong, at the bars I go to, they play all the same songs! (See Spike for the list!) The only other time I listen to music for a protracted period of time is driving in the car to play golf. The rest of the time I take the train so all I get to hear is the JR theme music!

Here goes:

In the car I keep 3 CD's. They are all Jethro Tull CD's. While of course I listen to the classics (Aqualung, Thick as a Brick, Living in the Past, Passion Play, Cry you a Song), there are 3 of their lesser known songs that I like and have been playing a lot in the car:

1) Flyingdale Flyers- All Ian Anderson songs are hard to get the meaning out of, but this one appears to be about UFO's. "Keep your hand off that Red Telephone!"

2) This is not love- Most probably a commentary on my relationship with the S.O. -
"How come you know better than me, how come you know better than me, so how come you know better than me-that this is not love?"

3) Kissing Willie- "She's a nice girl but bad girls are better!"

Moving on..............

4)I like REM particularly "Man in the Moon".-"See you in heaven if you make the list....yea, yea, yea!"

5) While in Korea at my favorite watering hole ( the one with the barmaid I lust after.....) they have a video jukebox with a wireless mouse. Its free and I want to play with the barmaid's mouse anyway. So this comes from that playlist-Paradise by the Dashboard light. I love the play by play in the middle, "Squeeze play at the plate, this one is going to be close-HOLY COW! I think he's gonna make it!"

6)So does this one- Fleetwood Mac's "Go your own way"- my theme song.

7) Finally I am a big fan of SMAP, which is an incredibly popular Japanese group. I get to listen to them on FM Yokohama 84.7!- "Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana" is a great song-and a popular TV theme.

There. I've completed my task. I know what you are asking about now, "Skippy, don't you have any music from this century?". The short answer is, I don't. Sue me.

I'm supposed to tag 7 people, but most of the people I read have been tagged already. So I'll just tag the Phibian, Sourrain, and Steeljaw Scribe and let them pass it on!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Remakes...........

Seems like evert third movie coming out these days is a remake of some earlier movie.
Here are a couple of examples of this trend taken to its most ridiculous extreme.

"Open the pod bay doors HAL........"




These are the kinds of movies you watch when you are not allowed to drink............


My 15 minutes of fame..........

Like they say in the business world, networking is the key. Get a reference from someone of influence.......the world can be your oyster:



For a little while anyway.

It does prove an old truth though. One nice girl putting her hair down and shaking her butt, beats any amount of well written words any day of the week!

We now return you to my relative obscurity.....................

Friday, September 15, 2006

Its been a while........

Since I did Beer and Babes..........

To tell the truth, when I was in Korea, I just did not have the energy, I was just grateful to have the week be over with. Since then, I've been a fitful mood, although I did see plenty of these during my little "side trip" at the end. Can't wait to go back at the end of this month!



I will of course need plenty of these first:



Especially since many days recently, I feel like this guy:



Sounds like good advice!

The son follows in his fathers footsteps........

William F. Buckley's son that is.

Richard the Peking Duck found this little gem of an article in the Washington Monthly by Christopher Buckley. With tightly written prose, he captures the dilemna of today's thinking moderate:

I voted for George W. Bush in 2000. In 2004, I could not bring myself to pull the same lever again. Neither could I bring myself to vote for John Kerry, who, for all his strengths, credentials, and talent, seems very much less than the sum of his parts. So, I wrote in a vote for George Herbert Walker Bush, for whom I worked as a speechwriter from 1981 to '83. I wish he'd won.

Bob Woodward asked Bush 43 if he had consulted his father before invading Iraq. The son replied that he had consulted 'a higher father.' That frisson you feel going up your spine is the realization that he meant it. And apparently the higher father said, 'Go for it!' There are those of us who wish he had consulted his terrestrial one; or, if he couldn't get him on the line, Brent Scowcroft. Or Jim Baker. Or Henry Kissinger. Or, for that matter, anyone who has read a book about the British experience in Iraq. (18,000 dead.)

Anyone who has even a passing personal acquaintance of Bush 41 knows him to be, roughly speaking, the most decent, considerate, humble, and cautious man on the planet. Also, the most loving parent on earth. What a wrench it must be for him to pick up his paper every morning and read the now-daily debate about whether his son is officially the worst president in U.S. history. (That chuckling you hear is the ghost of James Buchanan.) To paraphrase another president, I feel 41's pain. Does 43 feel 41's? Does he, I wonder, feel ours?

...What have they done to my party? Where does one go to get it back? One place comes to mind: the back benches. It's time for a time-out. Time to hand over this sorry enchilada to Hillary and Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden and Charlie Rangel and Harry Reid, who has the gift of being able to induce sleep in 30 seconds. Or, with any luck, to Mark Warner or, what the heck, Al Gore. I'm not much into polar bears, but this heat wave has me thinking the man might be on to something.


Read the whole thing here. Then look for the next plane ticket to Pattaya......."Future is so bright........Gotta wear shades".

Funny, I always thought it was a tie between Millard Filmore and Warren G. Harding for the honor of 'worst president'. However rumor has it that Harding "died in the saddle", so to speak, so that edges out making California a State............

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Those were the days!

Courtesy of Bad Bob.

A video about real carrier aviation, the mighty Hawkeye in action! Pretty cool even if they are granmola crunchin', tofu eatin', sandle wearin' Butt King, West Coast pukes!



Lex, I am sure, wishes he had had the chance to fly one of these beauties!

I even know a few of these guys.....but none of the girls.

BFD

That's an abbreviation meaning Big F**king Deal. Used primarily in the sarcastic sense.

Which is my sense when I read the various writings of men who should know better, continuing to cry over and over again about horribly Muslim societies treat women and that as a result of this struggle against terrorism , they will be forced to turn their societies around and adopt the feminist American ideal.

For example, several blogs have waxed poetic about Anousheh Ansari who will become the first Muslim woman in space. I'm so excited! A woman with 20,000,000 dollars burning a hole in her Louis Vuitton handbag, has decided to spend it on a trip into space. That's not a cultural breakthrough, its a high class version of a shopping spree. All it proves to me is that if you give a woman a lot of money, she'll find something to spend it on.

If she really wanted to do something culturally relevant she would spend that money on something like Doctors' without Borders, or other organizations that are trying to stem the drug abuse and other problems within Iran. What? You did not know there was a serious drug problem in Iran? That probably means that you also don't know that Iranian women are some of the most style conscious in the world. In many ways they have a lot in common with their western sisters:

To my amazement though, after a few weeks, during one of these family parties, one of the khaastegaari girl's brothers asked me if I considered myself Iranian or American. The party went silent, every one was listening intently: I said in broken-Farsi, "more American, but yet certainly Iranian too, what can I say?" Then, almost like a sigh of relief, his mother asked, "Do you feel a culture shock?" I said, honestly,"No. I feel totally at home, and would prefer to live here if I could make dollars." They were even happier with me, after that.


They both like men who make money!

I'm just as amazed as those who fawn over the fact that the American armed forces have 15% women in them and so, by their definition, must be superior to those countries who have primarily men in their armed forces. They ooh and awe over the fact that we have female fighter pilots who drop bombs on insurgents. Never mind that for each one of these, we can also see one of these. Which creates as much negative publicity as the former item creates good PR. No, we have to go on and on about how terribly these backward nations treat their women. Then we crow again about how our invading them, in violation of their sovereignty, will bring them truth, justice, and women in the boardroom. ( But sadly not the bedroom....).

Its total and complete crap. What it shows me is that men have become so conditioned to feminist propaganda, thrust upon them over and over again, that they have to parrot the feminist line, even if in their hearts they know it not to be true.

So the myth gets perpetuated. Arab nations treat women like crap so we, the big bad United States, have to save them from themselves. "One woman in a cockpit is worth a whole division" and other such nonsense.

Give me a break!

Now mind you, I am not in favor of wrapping women in black robes in 100 degree heat. And while I feel strongly that there are different roles for men and women to play in society, my ideal world would look nothing like Saudi Arabia. My mother taught me to hold the door for ladies, pay the check on a date, and treat women with politeness. On the other hand, I have no desire to see Arab nations inherit the upheaval that American men have allowed to be imposed upon them. I want to keep them from the peculiarly American curse of "cellulite, nine yards of attitude, and bad manners.". Plus lets face it, Arab divorce laws are far better than American ones.

I'll say it again. Its crap. Its all total and complete crap. The bottom line is that it will be economics, not war, that brings change to Arab countries. As the oil runs out and they cease to be able to employ hordes of Indonesians and Filipinos to attend to their domestic needs, but having gotten used to the good life, they will push their women out into the workforce. One man alone cannot make the money to keep up a 4000 square foot house. Its a lesson that has already been learned in America. Buy a smaller house? Perish the thought!

Until then, we would be well advised not to rush the process. Arab societies will have to develop in the context of what is acceptable to a majority of their population. And for now, given the realities of Islam and governing under it, women driving down the road in Saudi Arabia just is not going to cut it.

That does not mean women will be with out power though. They will continue to hold, as they have for time eternal, the power of the puss. Men want sex and they know it. So they will continue to make slow but steady gains until they have neutered Arab men, the same way American men have been neutered. And just like in America, the Arab world will be worse off for it.

As Fred points out:

The United States becomes daily more a woman's world: comfortable, safe, with few outlets for a man's desire for risk. The America of wild empty country, of guns and fishing and hunting, of physical labor and hot rods and schoolyard fights, has turned gradually into a land of shopping malls and sensible cars and bureaucracy. Risk is now mostly artificial and not very risky. There is skydiving and scuba and you can still find places to go fast on motorcycles, but it gets harder. Jobs increasingly require the feminine virtues of patience, accommodation to routine, and subordination of performance to civility. Just about everything that once defined masculinity is now denounced as “macho,” a hostile word embodying the female incomprehension of men.


See your future Akmed. No wonder you guys are raising so much hell.............

BFD.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Food for thought.....or why you do not always get what you want.

Need to lighten up a bit. Today was an interesting, albeit unusual day. It started when I read my horoscope:


Today, check out the view from the back seat of your life. That means you should accept the direction things are headed in now without wasting your precious energy trying to push things down a different path. Just sit back and let things be what they're going to be. After all, you might end up liking it! Taking this attitude doesn't mean you don't care about what's going on -- it just means you're smart enough to know where your energy is most effective.


Great. I assume this still applies as you are careening over a cliff?

<----------------->

Then, I went on over to visit with Madame Chiang who has found documentary proof of that disturbing observation I made several months ago. Namely that the #1 export of the Philippines is people. Slavery went out of fashion years ago......EXCEPT in the new world of globalization where a an inept government can condemn a whole generation of its people to economic slavery-unless you can meet and marry a rich guy-simply because the government cannot live up to its most fundamental responsibility and provide for its people.

Read:

THE PHILIPPINES OF TODAY WAS BORN IN THE oil crisis of the 1970s. Its economy mismanaged with traditional industries (e.g., sugar) wrecked by reckless government speculation and with the setting up of inefficient national cartels exporting Filipinos became the name of the game.



Some would say this a good thing. After all, somebody has to keep me company in Wanchai and in Orchard Towers. Glad to see the government of the Philippines is so proud of itself that after 30 years they still cannot fix this.

It is said that so long as the dollars flow in, and people flow out, the country can be spared the true consequences of the folly of its leaders, the moribund nature of its economy and the essentially directionless and imaginatively bankrupt nature of Philippine society itself. But force the Filipinos overseas to come home, deprive the country's coffers of their dollars and take away from millions of dependents the income that supports them in their joblessness, self-chosen or not, and the country would break apart.

I have often heard it said, that as long as a world war or serious regional conflict could be avoided, somehow or another, the Philippines would muddle through. Not only that, society at large would be spared the consequences of an increasingly discredited political system at home, and of the lack of anything to really show for generations of sacrifice by Filipinos overseas.


Read the rest of the article here. Me, I think they are way too optomistic. If this is the "salvation of the country" then the country is doomed. The new generation will end up like the old one. Full of ideas, but lacking in money. And so they will be sucked overseas by the economic vacuum cleaner. See you in Hari's bar and at Neptunes!

Which is sad. Because the people have the skills and willingness to work. They have yet to discard the burden of their corrupt family and governmental system. So they continue to live with the welfare state.


<----------------->


Ah but according to the great economic mantra of the day, since the Philippines is a democracy they should be able to overcome anything right? That's our creed in Iraq. Just make them into a democracy and good things will follow. My mentor Expat at Large has some thoughts on that. Consider this your economics lesson for the day. Remember this the next time someone tells you how call centers in Lahore help make America great:

The West, weaned on Milton (The Monster) Friedman and feed a diet of unreasoned right-wing Globalisation-friendly crap in the media ever since, consider

Democracy = Capitalism = Free Markets= Free Speech.

The terms have become totally synonymous in The West. If you're from the USA, you can throw in "The American Way" as well. The shock is that Singapore is a country where:

Capitalism = Free Markets ≠ Anything LIKE Democracy or Free Speech.

This is too great a logical discrepancy for many foreign observers to comprehend. It is as classic an example of cognitive dissonance as you'll get.

"But Singapore looks so nice, and has such clean streets, surely it must be a Democracy and everyone must be happy to live here?"

People who say things like that have obviously not spent a lot of time in Singapore. Clean Streets-yes. Liberal Democracy with Free Speech?- not a chance. Singapore is about order and obedience, beautiful women not withstanding.

Read here for the full discussion, especially the allusion that GWB wishes he had the power of Lee Kwan Yeu......More from E@L:


"[O]ur elite is primarily and increasingly managerial. A managerial elite manages. A crisis, unfortunately, requires thought. Thought is not a management function. John Ralston Saul: The Unconsious Civilisation...........
And because for them, Friedman is God's Economic Advisor. According to Friedman, democracy will blossom when markets are allowed to run free...

Hopefully I'm not the only one who disagrees, who sees Singapore as concrete evidence to the contrary.

Third last quote:

"Saul directly challenges the notion that capitalism makes democracy and, hence, individualism possible by critiquing the four pillars of the corporatist ideology: the marketplace, technology, globalization, and the money markets all of which are based in economic theory. Our unconsciousness arises, Saul argues, from the fact that we consider these unshakable realities rather than ideas or practices which may be subject to debate. In its evolution as a "science," , economic theory has come to be considered economic law -John McCrory book review of The Unconcious Civilisation.

Second last quote:

"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Benito Mussolini, Italian Duce

Final quote:

"Capitalism was reasonably content under Hitler, happy under Mussolini, very happy under Franco and delirious under General Pinochet." -John Ralston Saul: The Doubter's Companion

And under the LKY dynasty? 4 million smiles.



Who says us lust filled, beer swilling, overseas denizens never read? Au contraire-Mon Frer!

Then again, a benign strongman is probably just what the doctor ordered for Iraq, since in an Arab country democracy means "who can steal the most".

Ja ne! Thus endeth the lesson for today.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Who shall remember their names?

We will.

There is a line in a Tom Clancy novel, Red Storm Rising that goes something like this:
"The whole world seemed like it had caught fire, and because of them[the hijackers] the world literally would."

I hate the fact that this day happened. I hate the members of Al Quaeda. I hate Mohammed for starting this useless nonsense some 1300 years ago. I hate Arabs for having harbored and allowed such evil to have prospered in their midst. I hate Afghans for being wedded to ancient useless concepts of tribalism, that should have died out long ago. I hate the Iranians for continuing to forment trouble in a country that could achieve so much more. I hate them all, Arabs and Persians, for having squandered the great gift, that God in his inscrutable wisdom, gave to these useless human beings who in no way deserve it.

I wonder how I would have reacted in a similar situation. Would I have had the courage to do something? Or would I have simpered silently? Every time I fly, I look at the people around me. Could one of them be plotting a similar evil?

I see Arabs on the train and I assume they are up to no good. I watch the news and marvel that after 6000+years man cannot yet live in peace with his fellow man. I look at the names of the dead, and wonder why they had to die. I hate the fact that my nice little world has been so screwed up. I hate the fact that my children will still have to be dealing with the results of this day, long after we are all gone.

I wonder again why, if God is so powerful, does he allow such evil to continue in the world. Evangelicals will continue to spout drivel about free will and that good will triumph in the end. God could not intervene? I ask why not? He's God.

I hate myself for harboring such anger. For questioning He who cannot be questioned. Also, I find myself unable to understand those on both sides of the aisle who will politicize this day, despite their assertions that they mean no such thing.

And finally I pray for the dead. ALL the dead in this great catastrophe that has engulfed the world for the last five years.For it is in death that all are equal. 2996 died on September 11th. Since then almost 3000 Americans have died in the wars that sprung up in its aftermath. 30,000+ by any reliable estimate have died on the Afghan and Iraqi side of the tally. And still it goes on. The end is no where in sight. Dear God in Heaven, I wish You would make it end.

I remember again the words of Herman Wouk, "Either war is finished, or we are".

And finally, we remember their names: Names that were once lives, with love, hopes, and dreams. And we vow that no matter what happens in the future, we shall never forget that they once walked the earth. Were a part of us. Lived among us. Now they are gone. We remain behind. For how long we do not know. The summons to duty could come at any time.

Remember!

Links to names:
http://www.september11victims.com/september11victims/victims_list.htm

http://icasualties.org/oif/

http://icasualties.org/oif/IraqiDeaths.aspx

http://www.icasualties.org/oef/



Sunday, September 10, 2006

Who shall rememember their names?

We will. 9-11 was more than just an American tragedy, because of that day literally the entire world was set ablaze. The following story shows just how interconnected this world of ours is.

(24 of the victims were Japanese........).

For Yuko, 9/11 was only yesterday

Yukiko Furusawa / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent

Monday marks the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States that killed about 2,700 people. However, for those who lost loved ones in the tragedy, the emotional scars still run deep.
Yuko Clark, 39, who lives in New Jersey with her four children, is one victim who cannot erase her sense of loss.
Her American husband, Greg, 40, was working for a bond trading agent on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower.
Yuko, originally from Kanagawa Prefecture, met Greg at a U.S. military facility in Yokohama when she was a junior college student working part-time at a shop there.
They married 16 years ago, and Greg worked late every day to build a home and was a gentle father to their children.
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, he left for work as usual, but never returned home.
It was hard for Yuko to accept the fact that her husband had died in act of terrorism. She did not know on whom to vent her anger.
Like many others, his body was never recovered. But three years ago, a DNA test identified a piece of a left arm bone as being his, and Yuko could finally accept that her husband had died.
"I was sad, but at the same felt relieved. It was a sort of mixed feeling I had because I learned he really had died," Yuko said.
The emotional damage to her children also is deep.
Her eldest son, John, 16, said: "After dad was dead, I stopped doing everything. I did not talk and stayed in my room. I struggled in that year. Next year, I got to accept what had happened."
Having watched the war on terrorism unfold in Afghanistan and then the Iraq war on the television, John said, "I'm sure they don't like Americans," and added that anger circles the world.
Younger son Matt, 12, drew a picture book in which the father of the main character died while the boy was in a class.
The youngest child, 10-year-old Julie, refused to go to school at one stage.
Recently, Julie ripped off the arm of a father-character doll and applied a bandage she had made out of paper saying he was injured.
Although things are difficult, Yuko has found some joy.
Her eldest daughter, Sarah, 14, has been caring toward her younger brother and sister. John, who is attending high school, has taken up golf, a game that Greg liked.
As Yuko realizes how much her children have grown, she said she often asks herself, "Why is Greg not here?"
Greg played an active role in raising their children, changing their diapers and doing other things to help.
Recalling that, she says she finds it sad that he cannot see his children grow. She laments that these are the best years of child rearing, but he has missed out on it.
To receive compensation from the U.S. government, she had to fill out a mountain of paperwork.
Although she will have no trouble getting by for a while, she is worried about the future and sending the children to college among other things.
Some women she knows from an association for bereaved family members of 9/11 victims have remarried, but Yuko said she cannot imagine doing so.
On Monday, a memorial ceremony is to be held at Ground Zero.
One of her friends, who also lost her husband, suggested that Yuko read her husband's name out with others on the day to mark a turning point, but she refused.
She has not visited Ground Zero for a long time, "Because I feel as if my feelings go back to the past."
Recently, she started playing the piano again. On Monday, she said she was planning to attend an event at a hall in New York to sing Mozart's "Requiem" in remembrance of her husband.
(Sep. 10, 2006)

Up and at 'em..............

One of the things that keeps me with the S.O. is her innate ability to find a way to cheer me up when I am down. She never does this in an obvious way, Japanese women are not that blunt, but she knows when its time to coax me out of my shell. Reaffirming for you uninformed out there that anyone who thinks Japanese women are submissive, has obviously never, ever, lived with one. They get their way just as surely as their western sisters. They do, however, make you feel better while you are being used.

So Saturday morning starts when the S.O. wakes me up a lot earlier than I thought I should be.
(This conversation may or may not have occured as relate it........nonetheless the meaning is still there).

Me: " Can't you just let me wallow here in my self-pity? "

Her: (Thinking to herself in Japanese). No you can't you stupid Gaijin. Now get your lazy foreign ass out of bed. Why the hell did I ever get involved with this guy?
" Come join me for Yoga......".

Me: "Yoga? I meditate while drinking, thank you very much. Its too early to start drinking."

She: Explains again about her Yoga class.

Me: " Thanks but no thanks. Real men don't eat quiche, watch Oprah, and they don't do Yoga. I will however, go with you to the gym and do treadmill."

Her: " Fine. Hayaku!"

So off we go to the gym. Which actually turns out to be a good thing. I get about 40 minutes on the treadmill, which is a great chance for me, as the endorphins kick in and TV headphone volume goes up, to retreat to my own little world. Where I am the star. (Kind of a poor man's holosuite-more on that some other time).

Work out complete we go home, shower, change go shopping, eat lunch. She then suggests that we go to see a parade that was going on in town from 4 to 5. Sounds like a good idea. Turns out to be a competition between school and other marching bands, some as young as from the 6th grade. Crowded streets, pretty girls and beer vendors selling Asahi for 200Yen a pop. The flag waving Kanagawa Police women in their short skirts and high heeled boots got my attention!

Which in turn lead to me making her a nice dinner over which she asked me if I wanted to play golf today.

Which we did. Don't ask who won and I shot a pretty good game for me. Remember what I said at the start........Nobody rides for free!

But I do feel better----for now. And not one word came out of her mouth that directly referred to my emotions....it was all done very subtly. That's a lesson some other women should learn!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

From the Scribe

I'm lucky enough to count Steeljaw Scribe as a friend of mine. He's someone I really respect. He's passed along to me his idea for observing 9-11.

The 2996 project was started as an attempt to have individual blogs host a remembrance of each of the victims of the attack -- those from the WTC, Pentagon and on each of the airliners (hence the 2996 label ). No politics, no discussion of the killers, just a remembrance of those who were taken from us. As of two weeks ago, 2,996 blogs have signed up and are participating.
What I'm doing is posting my retrospective esterday/today) of the Pentagon attack and this weekend will be putting up memorial postings, first for my shipmates from N513 and N3N5 who were killed and also for Colin Arthur Bonnett who was killed at the WTC. Monday will be a silent post @ 0937:25, the time of the Pentagon strike. I invite you to my website (
http://steeljawscribe.blogspot.com) and the 2996 Project site (http://www.dcroe.com/2996/) to view the homegrown observances being posted.

Scribe was working in the Pentagon that day. He survived, but many of his co-workers did not. Go over to his blog to see his account of that terrible day.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The view from this hill...........

As you have probably noticed, I'm a pretty moody guy. Especially over the last few months. I've had so many ups and downs it would be funny if it were not happening to me. You would think I was going through menopause or something!

Yesterday was one of those lows. No real personal reason to relate, but it came from just looking at the surrounding scenery in the world. For such a beautiful place it sure is f**ked up right now. Lets look at the various locations and you will see why I am down.

Lets start with the blogosphere and my own pitiful contributions to it. I had thought I might have penchant for writing, but it seems clear to me that I may, but getting lots of people to read it is an uphill slope. Furthermore blogs in general hardly seem, to me, the "cutting age New Media" they aspire to be. Seeing one of my favorite reads, Christopher Allbritton pack it in got me to thinking about this. Listen to his commentary on the current "state of the sphere" and see if you do not agree:

One thing I've learned from this war is that when it comes to Israeli-Arab relations, most people don't want the truth: they want words that conform to their preconceived notions. I.e., that Israel is a aggressive, colonial construct with designs on the Litani's water, or that
Hizbullah is full of bloodthirsty savages who don't deserve to live.

Neither or these caricatures is, of course, accurate. But subtlety doesn't seem to have much place in the blogosphere anymore, where you get the most attention and the most hits by putting out whatever half-assed opinion one can muster. You only have to shout loudly enough and play to whatever audience you want to get the attention. Blogging these days seems to resemble bad vaudeville rather than thoughtful commentary.

I never wanted that from blogs. I had a vision of blogs standing alongside the so-called mainstream media and being the garnish of a well-balanced media diet, as I said in a lot of radio interviews. I never thought of blogs as a replacement or actively hostile to the Big Guys. Considering my background, that would be ridiculous. I'm a journalist. I'm a proud mainstream media journalist. My background is with the Associated Press, the New York Daily News and TIME Magazine. I'm very proud to be associated with such publications now and in the past and I'm proud of the work they've done, with or without my contribution.

But now, it seems the blogosphere has become more concerned with "gotcha" politics and "fact checking your ass" , mantras by armchair photo analysts who have no clue about what happens in a war or how photographs are made and distributed. They just want to score points in what seems to be, at best, a debating club rather than real life and death situations. Congratulations, your team won. Yay. People are still dead, you know. It's happened in Iraq and it's happened here, and I don't really feel like being part of that culture any more.


Are you listening, Michelle Malkin, Daily Kos, LGF, or anyone of a host of other sites who condemn anyone who does not toe the acceptable, "War is noble" line? War is still an abonimation, you know. Especially when I have lots of friends who are called upon, or will be called upon to fight it.

Which brings me to the war in general. Now my purpose here today, is not to go over the arguements about the war pro or con--though to be correct, each of the FIVE, US managed, wars underway today needs to be examined individually, they are different-it's to do the math on who has to bear the burden.

When I was down in my "happy place" last weekend, I would walk around and watch people going about their daily lives. I envied them. They don't have to walk around living in fear they are going to be jerked away from their loved ones to go do time in the sandbox. They don't have to fear being called a coward by fellow professionals because one publically expresses opposition to the prospect. In fact they do not have to worry about being shipped off in their own army to any of the current hell holes. They can just live their lives, make money, spend money, drink, eat, sleep, have sex, read, and basically do the things human beings are supposed to do. Sure they have to be vigilant against the criminal terrorist threat, but that place has not been attacked in over 60 years nor do I think it will. They can focus on the life that people were meant to live.

Even in America, the math is terribly unfair. Do it yourself. There are about 3+million people who work in the Active armed forces, guard and reserves-military and civilians. For them the threat of being shipped to Iraq, Aghanistan, Horn of Africa, GTMO, and other luxury spots is very real. They have friends actually over there having to sweat and work and everything else. And after 5+ years there is still no end in sight. For the rest of the 265,000,000 Americans the war is jsut something distant they see on their TV's. Even if you extrapolate the families, that's still only about 20% of the country or less that have a direct connection. For the rest, put a yellow ribbon bumper sticker on the SUV, and drive on in the pursuit of happiness and the almighty dollar, spirtiual Nirvana, higher education, the golden years or whatever it is that floats their boat.

I sat at the bars in my "happy place" and listened to the businessmen talk. In several cases they have countrymen engaged themselves, but it was not their concern. Their conversation dwelt on the software, the contract they were going to get, or whether Filipinas were better in bed than Chinese. ( I vote for the Filipinas by the way........). War, what war? Even if they do think about it, its only in terms of what advantage it might bring to their companies or to their wallets.

But wait, you ask, is this not a world wide struggle against tyranny? Perhaps. Except it seems as if the world as a whole does not think so. Its too busy making a buck, Euro, Yuan, Yen, Rupee or RMB, take your pick.

What about a free, stable, Middle East? That will make for a better world for all. Stable democracies do not make war on one another. (I sure wish someone could explain India and Pakistan to me then). It takes time to do that. Sure it does, but I would ask again who exactly made it anyone's job but the citizens of the country that is seeking democracy? It will turn backward states into modern, female friendly, countries. We just have to stay the course. These are times that demand stout hearts. Never mind that people we are setting out to save, to date, have been more concerned about the politics of an apostate religion than on buliding their country.

I'm starting off on the road to rantville and I wanted to avoid that. So lets leave the Central Front for a while (does anyone remember what that meant during World War I? I doubt it or the adminstration would have picked a different metaphor.). Lets look at the rest of the world- progress to be seen every where right?

Iran- War appears to be looming.
North Korea- creaking along, but still dangerous-like an old dog with rabies.
Nigeria, imploding on itself, thank you very much. Another nation made a nation long before, or if, it ever should have been.
Lebanon- Beacon of the Arab Spring?
Palestine-ingovernable because it does not present the prerequisites for a stable nation. And their voters sure made a good choice did they not?
Kyrgistan? Still looking for a missing USAF Major..........

Moving closer to home-

Taiwan- Still a problem.
China- Outspending the US 4-1, but not to worry we will solve the problem with less ships, Sailors, and Aircraft. They will be diversified and transformed, so the disparity in numbers will not matter right?

I've not even gotten to Darfur or Columbia or Venezuela yet...............

However the good news is that we have offered tohelp India improve its nuclear weapons, because democracies don't make WMD.............(Someone has to explain that one to me again.)

I can hear it now. "Skippy, you are a whiner! We can handle it- because we have right on our side........". Maybe you are right.

But it will still be just that 4 million people out of a world population of 6 Billion to do all this heavy lifting. (Maybe 5 if I count the Europeans). The rest of the folks, either are in the way, or out of it. And if they are out of it, they are just going to get a free pass to continue minding their buisness. For the people I care about though? All they have to look forward to is war without end.

And if it ever does end, what will my home country have become?

Now we know why.......

Princess Kiko did her maternal duty.

The new prince from day one of his life will be paid an annual stipend of 3 million yen a year. His sisters also receive the same amount each year, Prince Akishino receives 30.5 million yen, and Princess Kiko gets 15.25 million yen for “their personal use to maintain royal dignity.”


Still say concubines would have been cheaper..........

H/T to JAPUNDIT

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Should load faster now.

The blog has been slow to load and I finally found out why.

My Jedi quiz source site has gone away......damn.

FIxed the sight and am actively seeking a witty substitute. Please stand by.

First, a funny post...........

I'm in a very down mood tonight. I've been down all day....one could almost say I'm depressed, but I don't get depressed. I just get angry, horny then drunk. That way I pass out before depression............

Lots of reasons for this, mostly war, politics, and work related. However there are also other reasons today.

Reason #1: Tailhook begins today, and I'm not there. Not that I have a real reason to go besides listening to liars flag officers give briefs, drink more than my fill, and gamble my ass off while ogling hookers waitresses. However what else should I be doing after the BS I just had to put up with?

Reason #2: Expat @ Large, who is one of those guys I wish I could be, is organizing a get together tonight. In my favorite place on the planet. If I cannot be at tailhook, then I should be there. I will do neither thanks to that annoying little detail called work. Accodingly tonight I shall drink heavily.

Oh but look where I could have been!

I do have Expat at Large to thank for introducing me to my next Japanese teacher though(Courtesy of Dick Headley, another guy I wish I could be.):



Warning, there is no nudity here. However if you find sexual humor offensive hit stop after the second lesson. However trust me the video is funny and grammatically correct. And it will make you wish your name was Toshi!

With all the bad news today, its nice to laugh. Bad news to follow.....consider your self warned!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Taking one for the team, part II-dodging the bullet........

Back in February, I posted about Princess Kiko. Kiko-sama had patriotically become pregnant and so gave the royal family one more chance to get a male heir to the throne. Today she helped a whole host of people in the Imperial household breathe easier......she gave birth to a boy.

Bottom of the 9th, 2 out, nobody on; she hits a game winning home run in the eyes of Japanese politicians, sparing them a heated debate about the succession for at least a few more years.

However talk about some pressure on one person:

This is no ordinary baby, but one born into controversy and with the weight of the world's oldest hereditary institution on its shoulders. If it is a boy, he will one day head a dynasty that claims to trace its roots back to before the Romans stepped on British soil. If it is a girl, she will come into the world to the sound of a collective sigh of disappointment. Not an easy start in life.


Not the least for what it does to some other folks in the Royal Family:

Although all eyes are on Kiko, it is her enigmatic sister-in-law Masako who has sparked this crisis. Drawn across the imperial moat by a mixture of love and duty, the multilingual career diplomat symbolised the growing freedoms of Japanese women, and many hoped she might help modernise one of Japan's most conservative institutions. Instead, she became, in the words of one commentator, a "prisoner of her womb", expected to produce a male heir and abandon her ambitions for imperial diplomacy.

In 2001, after more than seven years of marriage she finally had a girl, Aiko, which bitterly disappointed conservatives. The birth, after IVF treatment, was traumatic as was adjustment to life with the bureaucrats who run the Imperial Household Agency (IHA), the government agency in charge of state matters concerning Japan's royal family. But worse was to follow.

In 2003, the IHA's grand steward, Yuasa Toshio, said he "strongly wanted" the couple to have another child. The princess withdrew from official duties that December and has never returned to a full roster. She is currently on holiday in the Netherlands with her husband, daughter - and the family psychiatrist.......

{Kiko having a boy} That might take the pressure off Masako, or it could be the final straw for the beleaguered princess:

"It looked as though Masako's daughter would be the first reigning empress in modern Japanese history and Masako would have been the one who shaped her. And now she doesn't even get to do that," says Ken Ruoff, the author of The People's Emperor. "So she may well ask herself: what is the purpose of all this? Why have I made all these sacrifices? People who know say this is a really dicey situation and that she is really unhappy."


The babies name will be given in about 7 days. Whoever he is, he certainly does not know what is going to be expected of him.

For those of you keeping score at home, here's a pocket guide to the royal family:



For now though, it is all Kiko-sama all the time on Japanese TV.

Monday, September 04, 2006

There is a story there........

That's what I used to say when I saw something that did not look quite right. Like when you see a totally gorgeous girl with an overweight older man. True love? Probably not. Currency exchange? Maybe. There is a story there.

Yesterday went and had lunch at one of my favorite watering holes. This was after walking around a lot and seeing the sights. Came in, the bar was empty except for a guy and girl. There were people at the tables, but I decided to sit at the bar.

The guy and the girl were having an argument. Like walking in late to a movie I had missed some of the key plot developments. In a nutshell the girl, who appeared to be an American and the guy,who was a Brit, were discussing the girl's love life. In rather loud tones.

Guy:" Don't lie to me. You jumped his bones the first time you were with him. You can peddle that line somewhere else, but not with me. I talked to _____ and she told me so."

Girl:" Well what about you! You sleep around all the time."

Guy: " I slept with _______, and ________ as well as ________. I also slept with _____. However the difference between me and you is that I don't feel as if I have to apologize for it. You want to be a tramp but not think you are one."

Girl: (voice rising to almost shouting...)"That's not what I said! Don't try to lecture me!"

Guy: " You still jumped his bones the first night right? It does not matter that you did but don't get all high an mighty about it. Accept it. Check please".

Girl: " Just shut up and give me my money."

The whole time this is going on, the rest of us patrons are trying to keep our eyes averted and look at our newspapers or beers, but you just had to keep looking back to see what else was going to happen.

Like I said, there is a story there.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Me time.......

Just like Dick Cheney, I'm blogging from an undisclosed location. Taking of couple of days just for myself in a place I like. Sitting here drinking coffee and reading the newspaper.

Speaking of reading, I have been doing some on the plane here. Thought I would share some of the articles for your viewing pleasure.

In this months Foreign Policy Magazine there are some great articles that provide food for thought.They have 3 articles on 9-11, the most controversial being that nothing really changed on 9-11 (besides the New York Skyline and the loss of 3000 Americans who should still be alive.....).
In the "The Day nothing much changed" William J Dobson says, "We were told the world would never be the same. But did 9/11 actually alter the state of global affairs? For all the sound and fury, the world looks much like it did on September 10."

There is also a discussion of the American Empire and how it can continue.

And finally a fascinating article that says Paul Bremer was really Iraq's biggest weapon of mass destruction. In the article the author argues that the decisions he made as the head of the CPA, hiring folks for loyalty rather than competence and not utilizing the military more, laid the framework for why the country is the mess it is.

Ok. You have your home work. Run along now kids and there will be a test at the end of the week. I've got some quality drinking and sightseeing to do this afternoon.

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